We’re stepping out to wish our customers a fun and safe Halloween. Eat, drink and be scary!
Based in Michigan, AFAR’s goal is to advocate on animal-rights issues, educate the public on spaying and neutering, and celebrate the special bond between animals and the people who care for them. Their phone line is used to raise funds and gather support to provide no-kill temporary housing and care for strays.
Director David Farr says Phone.com has definitely helped move AFAR’s work forward. “As we grow, Phone.com is there, meeting our needs, often even before we know we need something.”
AFAR uses a Phone.com customized toll-free number. This feature lets customers pick a number that is easy for callers to remember and dial because it uses letters associated with the organization. For example, AFAR’s donation and support line is 1-866-224-AFAR.
David says AFAR staff are impressed by the friendly, helpful support they receive from Phone.com Customer Service. “They always go the extra mile, providing quality service.”
What David doesn’t know, is that at Phone.com, we love our dogs! From tiny Wino the Dachshund-Beagle pup pictured above to three-year-old Pit Bull Sancho, the hounds rule our Customer Service center.
We wish AFAR every success in protecting and advocating for our furry friends!
For any non-profit organization running an office in Washington, DC, operation costs can be a killer. Rent, keeping the lights on, marketing—and oh yeah, phone service. You need a really good business phone service if you’re an international, grassroots organization like Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP).
SSDP is a student-led network that advocates for drug-policy reform and safer program implementation. The organization works to effect change, for example, on financial-aid eligibility for drug offenders who want to study, medical marijuana legislation, and Good Samaritan policies, among other issues. They have 3,000 active US members and over 200 student chapters.
“We went from having one line shared by all [three] staffers, no individual mailboxes, and no ability to forward messages or transfer calls to cell phones to having a fully-functional business phone system,” says Executive Director Betty Aldworth.
Since late last year, Aldworth says the Washington office has grown from three to six staffers. “Without Phone.com I can’t imagine how much more difficult conducting our day-to-day business would be.”
Betty Aldworth raves about Phone.com’s easy-to-use customer settings and flexible call-forwarding options, but cost savings are clearly a big win for SSDP.
“We are saving about $100 per month by switching to Phone.com, but that’s from basic phone service to a full business platform. … I can’t imagine how much this service would cost if we were getting this robust a set of features through a traditional provider, but it would certainly be much, much more expensive!”
She also loves dealing with our Customer Support team. “The product is tremendously easy to use, but when I can’t figure something out, friendly folks like Derrick (Phone.com Customer Support specialist) are always right there at the click of a button to help answer any questions.”
We’re glad we make your day and work easier, Betty!
The book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey has left an indelible mark on me since reading it a couple years ago. At the time, we were reading the book as part of our customer-service book club.
Habit number seven is “Sharpen the Saw.” The basic principle is that unless you take time to invest in your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, your “saw” will become dull and ineffective. In a day and age where we can literally get home from work, a bag of fast food in hand, and plop down on the couch to binge watch episode after episode of our favorite television shows on Netflix, it’s likely there are a lot of dull saws out there.
Does your work feel completely uninspired? Has your career hit a plateau? Does your imagination feel more like a mental blockade? Allow me to share three ways I have learned to keep my mind sharp in recent years.
1. Read a Book
Any form of reading is a fantastic exercise for your mind, but I highly recommend reading that’s targeted toward personal and professional growth. Since starting Communicate Better Blog, this has been a major point of emphasis for us. Take a look at our current book reading list! Yours doesn’t have to be as focused on customer service as ours is. As I’ve committed to regularly reading, I find myself branching out and learning about other business topics that have all of a sudden become interesting to me.
2. Read a Blog
Blogs are another amazing way to sharpen your saw. With a quick Google search you can find tons of blogs relevant to your interests. And with Twitter, you can search hashtags and find links to blog posts on those topics as well. For example, as a customer service professional, I search #custserv (Customer Service) and #cx (Customer Experience) all of the time.
You will quickly discover that experts are freely and openly sharing their wisdom. It’s all there for you to consume and will prove valuable to your personal and professional development. For those who don’t relish the idea of sitting in a crowded room and networking, you can connect with others in your fields of interest without leaving your chair. The best part about it is that so many of these thought leaders want to have a conversation with you!
3. Listen to a Book
My final and most recent discovery has been audio books. No time for reading in your busy day? I’ll bet you have a daily commute, and a vehicle equipped with either a CD player or auxiliary jack. Audio books are a great way to pass the time during your commute and make it meaningful. They don’t have to cost money either! I found out that our public library has several thousand audio books to choose from.
These are just a few ways to keep your business mind sharp. Be sure not to neglect proper rest, exercise, a good diet, and prayer or meditation as well. I firmly believe that all of these things work together to help you be your very best.
I wrote a post on Communicate Better Blog about a year ago about the importance of being a smile collector. Erica, one of our awesome customer service representatives, introduced me to the concept when I told her that an email she’d sent made me smile. She responded by saying, “That’s great! I collect smiles!”
That phrase has really stuck with us. In fact, all good feedback, internal or external, makes us smile. Plus, we love making our customers smile!
We now have a Smile Box in our office and every bit of good feedback goes in that box. Names are drawn from the box periodically and we celebrate the smiles together as a company. We go a step further and produce an internal Smile Report every month with all of the amazing feedback from our customers.
I was just reading some of the feedback from this week’s drawing and immediately found myself grinning because I was reminded of the fact that I work with some awesome people. Check out these comments:
Everything is functioning as I would like. Your CS rep was very helpful on my last call and I think I know how to set up everything that I need to.
Thanks to Juan for OWNING THE CUSTOMERS and helping them solve issues — always!
You are the best! I can always rely on you to be there when I need HELP! No matter what! Thanks for always being available, it is so important! Thank you!
Now, before you start thinking we only focus on the positive, I want to assure you that we also read and act on the negative. Guess what? The negative feedback makes us smile too and not because we have some sick desire to see people be unhappy. We smile because the negative feedback is an opportunity to improve our service in tangible ways, and we smile because someone cared enough to take the time to share it.